Jessica was very vulnerable when we first met her.
She came on our Open Mindz programme which supports young people, whose parents have drug or alcohol problems, to improve their mental health. She had a difficult relationship with one of her brothers and her Dad; they’d sexually assaulted her and her sister. She wanted attention and so would get into relationships which were bad for her. She said “I feel as if I have no control over my life.”
She enjoyed meeting other young people on the programme who were in similar situations to hers and realised she was making herself vulnerable by speaking to boys she didn’t know online and depending on people she couldn’t trust; telling them secrets and about her personal circumstances. She said “I was vulnerable and unaware of the situations I was putting myself in. The internet isn’t a safe place if you aren’t careful”
As a result of completing the Open Mindz programme Jessica now realises she doesn’t need attention from boys and that she needs to focus on herself and her own mental health. She’s able to open up to her Mum about situations at school and feels she can rely on her more. She’s also changed her support networks from new friends and current boyfriend to her mum, step dad, sister, friends she’s made at Open Mindz and Brathay staff.
She says “I’m more aware of my mental health and ways to deal with negative impacts in my life without exploding. I’m more positive about the choices I can make and the opportunities I have access to. I am happier as I’ve got more friends I can rely on”.